Painting appliances is one of the best ways to update your kitchen without having to take on an expensive renovation. Like painting exposed bricks or a bathtub, putting on a fresh coat of appliance paint can make your hardworking machines look brand-new. But before you grab a paintbrush, here’s what you need to know.
Appliance paint is different
You can achieve professional-looking results by painting your appliances yourself. However, this is not the time to use up that extra wall paint in those rusty cans in your garage. Appliance paint is specially formulated for metal surfaces and for the kind of extra-tough wear and tear to which appliances are subjected.
Types of appliances that can be painted
The type of appliance you’re painting will determine which type of appliance paint you should get.
“Appliance paint is available in heat-resistant finishes, which would work best for your appliances that get warm over an extended period of time,” according to Amy Davis, a franchise consultant for Five Star Painting.
“Spray paint should not be used on any surface that comes in direct contact with food, as our paint is not tested for food safety,” says Melinda Childress, product marketing manager at Sherwin-Williams.
Choosing the right appliance paint
Rust-Oleum, Krylon, and Giani are three popular household appliance paint brands. Rust-Oleum and Krylon are both available in black, white, almond, and bisque/biscuit colors. And Giani offers Liquid Stainless Steel, a DIY kit that allows you to give your boring, outdated appliances the sleek, luxurious look of stainless steel.
Davis recommends spray paints because they are easy to use on appliances.
Prepping appliances for painting
To achieve professional-looking results, you’ll need to adhere to tried-and-true pre-painting rituals.
“A thorough cleaning will be the No.1 prep step for most appliances, since they are subject to fingerprints, grease, and food residue,” says Childress.
If the appliance is old and has traces of rust, she recommends sanding the rust to remove it before you start painting.
“You should also unplug the appliance, and remove or cover all the hardware and handles,” Davis says.
When you start painting
The best way to avoid a mishap is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product you’re using.
To avoid inhaling paint fumes, don’t paint your appliances indoors. Instead, paint outdoors or in a well-ventilated garage.
Also, it’s best to have everything that you need on hand before you start on your project.
You’ll need the following tools and materials, according to Ami Gruenenfelder at the Giani paint company:
- Painter’s tape
- Paint roller tray (unless you’re using spray paint)
- Phillips head screwdriver (for detaching handles)
- Fine #600 grit sandpaper (for sanding any accidental drips)
- Water-based plastic primer (any plastic areas must be primed prior to using appliance paint)